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Baggy Pants Comedy: Burlesque and the Oral Tradition
by Andrew Davis
Taking readers inside the burlesque houses of Depression-era America, Baggy Pants Comedy explores the role of comedy in a show remembered mostly for strip-tease. It examines how burlesque comics, straight men, and talking women approached the craft of comedy, working in a genre that relied not on scripts but on a remembered tradition of comedy bits that circulated orally. ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 9th 2014 by Palgrave Macmillan
(first published October 15th 2011)
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The title is a tad scholarly, but the book is a delight--just about the definitive work on the subject. The first chapters put burlesque comedy in its social and historical context, but the greatest part of the book consists of transcriptions of famous routines--a few of them like "Niagara Falls" and "Here Come the Judge" are still common currency to today's audiences and they even read funny. Very enjoyable.